Balkans small group tour

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Date
Price
Basis
08 Sep 2018
£ 1655
including UK flights
3 spaces left
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22 Sep 2018
£ 1665
including UK flights
2 spaces left
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18 May 2019
£ 1569
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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25 May 2019
£ 1590
including UK flights
Available
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08 Jun 2019
£ 1695
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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22 Jun 2019
£ 1695
including UK flights
Available
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03 Aug 2019
£ 1755
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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17 Aug 2019
£ 1755
including UK flights
Available
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31 Aug 2019
£ 1755
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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14 Sep 2019
£ 1599
including UK flights
Available
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28 Sep 2019
£ 1599
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Balkans small group tour

Environment

On this trip we have a balance of time spent in the towns and cities and also out exploring the beautiful scenery on foot, such as walking in the Durmitor National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During our walk our Tour Leader will explain about the local fauna and flora and about the importance of safeguarding it for future generations.

We will visit the 13th century Mileseva Monastery, which is one of the country's most important spiritual centres where we will be guided round by a local priest. By visiting here we’re assisting in funding the ongoing conservation of this historic building.

We’ll also take a ride on the historic Sargan Eight Railway, which was once admired as a piece of world-class construction, for it allows the train to make the steep climb through the mountains in a figure of eight weaving through 22 tunnels and covering just over 15 kilometres. By visiting this attraction we’re helping to support the ongoing maintenance needed to the steam train and rail track.

The walled city of Dubrovnik is an extremely iconic site, but it was almost entirely destroyed in the Siege of Dubrovnik in the early 1990s. After the shelling had stopped UNESCO stepped in and fully restored the city to its former glory. During our guided walking tour we’ll learn all about this tragic point in its history.

To help reduce the level of pollution within the urban centres, the sightseeing tours we operate are mostly done on foot, which is also a great way of seeing all they have to offer first hand. When coaches are being used for these small group trips we keep the size of the coach to a minimum, so rather than using gas guzzling 40-50 seaters we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat coaches that use less fuel and therefore admit less carbon.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators. We acknowledge that air travel has a negative impact on our environment, so we work together with Cool Earth to offset carbon and protect our important rainforests.

Community

On this trip through the Balkans we aim to see the highlights and also less visited areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. The majority of the hotels we use are family run and our hoteliers work actively with the local community to source traditional locally produced foods– something we are sure you’ll enjoy!

We have chosen to stay in the town of Dobrota instead of its more famous neighbour of Kotor. This allows us to still enjoy the medieval city and fjord in Kotor, but also to help benefit the hoteliers and restaurants in Dobrata, which sees far few tourists. Similarly we’ve also decided to stay in Cavtat instead of Dubrovnik, as again we can experience Dubrovnik’s highlights, but then retreat to the quieter picturesque fishing village of Cavtat where we will spend the night in one of number of unique pensions and in the morning we’ll have breakfast in local bakery.

We’ll spend a night in Sirogojno – a remarkable open air museum that was declared a Serbian national monument back in 1983. Here we can see a collection of traditional 19th century wooden buildings including a bakery, an inn and a dairy. Sirogojno is also known for its authentic high quality and handmade knitted sweaters and we will be shown how these are made and have the chance to try our hand at knitting.

Our knowledgeable Serbian Tour Leaders have a strong love for the Balkans and its traditions and they also have a love of nature, which they will share with you along the way. In fact, all of our suppliers are local, from our ground agents to transport providers, hotels and tour crew so you can be confident that your money is benefitting the local community in the areas we visit.

Our local agent in Serbia also feels passionately about operating responsibly and they have their own responsible tourism policy, which includes ways that they minimise the amount of waste and plastic used and the importance of using local suppliers, they also have an animal welfare policy and support a number of local projects that benefit the communities where they operate trips.

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